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No, that isn't so. Especially wide angle, maybe also standard lenses, can be clearly smaller, if you don't have to leave that much room between the lens and the sensor. For example, consider the weight and size of the wide angle zooms for classic 4/3 (DSLR) as opposed to m4/3 (mirrorless):
The Olympus 4/3 lens 7-14mm f4 (for DSLR) is 86.5 x 119.5mm, and it weighs 780g.
OTOH, the Panasonic m4/3 lens 7-14 f4 (for mirrorless) is 70mm x 83mm, and it weighs 300g.
Especially DX wide angle lenses could be much smaller if they could get closer to the sensor. The...Show more →
Knowing what I do about optics, I can assure you that shortening the flange to sensor distance is going to have little impact on the size of the lens ... if anything shortening the distance will increase not decrease the size of the lens... sensor size is the primary factor.
Edit: The two lenses you mention have different optical formulas and that likely has more to do with the size difference than flange distance. Remember that as you disperse light more at the back of the lens, you need a larger rear element. As you shorten the flange-sensor distance, you increase the amount of dispersion you need to do to cover the sensor. This also increases distortion issues.
On the other hand, sensor size is a major reason why a UWA FX lens is generally so much larger than a DX UWA ... unfortunately that comparison is hard to make due to max aperature differences as well as optical formular differences.
Edited on Sep 18, 2013 at 04:44 PM · View previous versions